How did PM Modi intervene in Russia-Ukraine war? EAM S Jaishankar says ‘we took two calls…’

Prime Minister Narendra is a stern believer in dialogue and diplomacy in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, says External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who acknowledges the PM's intervention during the crisis, which ensured the safe evacuation of stranded Indian citizens from war-torn regions.

Written By Alka Jain
Updated17 May 2024, 10:44 AM IST
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke about PM Modi's intervention in Russia-Ukraine war in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke about PM Modi’s intervention in Russia-Ukraine war in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating for dialogue and diplomacy in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict since Vladimir Putin started the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. He made phone calls with Putin and Volodymyr Zelansky to ensure safe passage for Indians stranded in war-torn regions. Putin and Zelensky have invited him to their respective countries after the Lok Sabha elections 2024. 

The Indian government launched ‘Operation Ganga’ to safely evacuate its citizens stranded in neighbouring countries of Ukraine during the war. Students who returned from Ukraine praised PM Modi for bringing them back safely from the war zone.

Also Read | Jaishankar speaks on India's stand on China

“People are genuinely interested…I’ve had functions from Odisha to Maharashtra, where students or families of students who came out of Ukraine wanted to come up to the stage to thank us for it,”  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times. 

Speaking about PM Modi's intervention in Ukraine-Russia crisis, Jaishankar stated that the Prime Minister had a conversation with Russian President Putin when shelling started in Kharkiv and told him “Look, this was an agreement between your people and our people, this is happening. So I would request you to personally have someone look into this and stop it”. 

“It took a few hours, but the Russian shelling stopped and the buses went there to pick them up and brought them out,” the minister told HT while narrating the second incident when PM Modi stepped in. 

Referring to Sumy city in Ukraine, Jaishankar said, “… everybody else in Ukraine had got out or was getting out. And this one place was stuck. It was a particularly complicated place….so everybody was firing at everybody else. And the students started getting more and more agitated because they felt everybody else was leaving.”

Also Read | Jaishankar speaks on Lok Sabha elections 2024

He stated that the Indian government took two calls to rescue people from Sumy. Two senior MEA officials were sent to Sumy. Then, Jaishankar himself requested the Prime Minister to speak to Putin and Zelensky about it. 

“…he actually spoke to both of them (Putin and Zelensky) and told them 'Look, this is very, very important, you know, we want your forces to stand down and give us a pathway and my officials will work out the details. So, they passed the instructions down. I was actually sitting with the PM, and he called up Putin and Zelensky,” the External Affairs Minister revealed. 

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First Published:17 May 2024, 10:44 AM IST
HomeNewsIndiaHow did PM Modi intervene in Russia-Ukraine war? EAM S Jaishankar says ‘we took two calls…’

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